Dr. Mario Online Rx
|Dr. Mario Online Rx|
|Engine||Tetris: The Grand Master (modified)|
Dr. Mario Online Rx, released in Japan as Dr. Mario & Saikin Bokumetsu (Dr. MARIO & 細菌撲滅?) and in Europe and Australia as Dr. Mario & Germ Buster, is a puzzle video game starring Dr. Mario. It was one of the WiiWare launch games in Japan, Europe, and Australia, and was released on March 25, 2008 (Japan) and May 20, 2008 (Europe/Australia). It was released in North America on May 26, 2008. It costs 1000 Wii Points and takes up 103 Blocks.
Although registered with the ESRB as Dr. Mario Wii, a short clip of the game from the Nintendo Channel revealed its North American title before release. The letters "Rx" in the title refers to ℞, the common symbol for prescription.
As with other Dr. Mario games, players must manipulate pills to destroy colored viruses in the game area. Dr. Mario Online Rx also features versions of the Nintendo DS title Brain Age 2's mini-games called Virus Buster and Germ Buster, which uses the pointer function of the Wii Remote to move pills, and now allows up to four players to participate cooperatively.
A majority of features from previous installments, such as the virus and speed levels, are present in this installment. Players played online against a friend with only one copy, as an online-play demo could be sent akin to DS Download Play. Vs. Mode could also be played offline, if desired. Unlike Dr. Mario 64, this iteration of Dr. Mario lacks the ability to play with four players, instead only allowing up to 2 players in Vs. Mode.
Several features in this game previously appeared in Dr. Mario 64, including the four musical tracks: "Fever", "Chill", "Cube", and "Que Que" (the latter two tracks are now named "Cough" and "Sneeze"). The music can be randomly selected or turned off. Flash Mode, which challenges the player(s) to clear just three flashing viruses among many, also returns from Dr. Mario 64.
Virus Buster, previously seen as a mini-game in Brain Age 2 has more customization than the original. Whereas the original only had Easy, Normal, and Hard as options, this version allows to adjust virus level and music as well. Remixed versions of "Fever" and "Chill" are present in this mode. Virus Buster can be played alone or with others, with up to four players. Instead of being controlled directly with the D-pad, they are guided with the Wii Remote pointer.
In single player mode, a player can select to start the game at level 20. After winning level 20, levels 21, 22, and 23 increment by four viruses. Level 24 and beyond contain 99 viruses. After 99 levels, gameplay can continue but the game does not progress past level 99 and the player is presented with only the "Try Again" and "Quit" menu options.
IGN gave Dr. Mario Online Rx an 8.5/10, calling the main game "timeless" and the new Virus Buster mode "chaotically awesome". However they were let down by the fact that the main Dr. Mario mode only supported up to 2 players (where some earlier games had supported up to 4) and that Virus Buster was not playable online. Additionally, N-Europe awarded Dr. Mario an 8/10, calling it "the same Dr. Mario that we know and love" with "solid and functional graphics" and addictive gameplay.
In contrast, GamesRadar gave it 6/10, calling it a "slightly awkward puzzler" that "just isn't addictive enough to make you care" and likened it to "Puyo Puyo's in-bred cousin". However, they praised the online multiplayer functionality and enjoyed its clean presentation, with the exception of the music. NGamer also criticised the gameplay, and gave it 2/5.
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- IGN: Dr. Mario & Virus Buster Preview
- IGN: Dr. Mario Online Rx Review
- Gittins, Sam (2008-05-28). "WiiWare Review: Dr. Mario & Germ Buster". N-Europe. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
- GamesRadar - Dr. Mario Review